The relationship between Willowbrook High School and AT bleeds as much rivalry as sisterhood, and although most aspects render the schools similar, there are stark differences between the institutions and student bodies.
Statistically, the district has recorded figures describing the makeup of the student body. AT has a majority Hispanic population while Willowbrook has a larger Middle East population. AT has a higher AP participation rate at 45% while Willowbrook has an AP participation rate at 42%. However, 13% more of all Willowbrook students have passed at least 1 AP exam.
Former Willowbrook Science teacher Michael Warren now resides in administration as AT Assistant Principal. Although he has walked the halls of Willowbrook 20 years longer than the halls of AT, he notes visible differences between the two schools.
The course selection offered at both schools is arguably similar in addition to the curricula, but as the Curriculum Instructor, Warren explains how the students drive the variations.
“Not really, to be honest, kids are honest. It’s interesting the patterns of classes kids take over here versus over there. Just as there are different choices and different teachers driving them. Is the curriculum between schools different? The syllabuses, the curriculum, the assessments are the same,” said Warren.
Students at AT elect to enroll in different classes. Warren taught 3 classes of AP Biology at Willowbrook each year while at AT, only 1 AP Biology class runs each year. But, Horticulture taught by Science Teacher Andrea Grossart runs for 3 class periods, a class not taught at Willowbrook.
“Not in terms of rigor, but in terms of class size. For example, there are more AP physics classes here, but across town, I taught AP Biology, which ran for three periods.”
Warriors participate in Warrior Time, a resource period identical to AT’s ATR. Seniors at Willowbrook, however, are able to opt-out of Warrior Time provided they have demonstrated academic success thus far. All AT seniors are required to participate in ATR.
“A big thing over there is Opt-out. It just gives the seniors something to work toward. It gives them more freedom. ”
Outside the classroom, students discover themselves equally immersed in various extracurriculars. Sixty-six percent of both Willowbrook and AT students are involved in extracurriculars. The statistics showcase equal involvement, but the type of involvement varies.
“I think our participation rates are comparative, but we offer different extracurriculars. Speech Team is a big thing over there, but here, I know Cesco has Youth in Government, which isn’t a thing over there,” said Warren.
While Warren was a Warrior for decades, he sees more school spirit present at AT in comparison to Willowbrook.
“Blazers, for sure, have more spirit! I feel like I see more T-shirts, more spirit wear,” said Warren.